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Full text of "The manufacture and properties of iron and steel"

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•RUSSIA.                                               567
is still more isolated, being nearly 900 miles from Moscow, 1200 miles from the Sea of Azov and more than that from Poland. Fig. XXVI-A shows the distribution of the iron industry and Table XXVI-B gives more definite statistics. The output of steel in 1899 was 1,939,000 tons, but it has decreased since then on account of business conditions. One-third of the output in 1899 was made in the Bessemer converter and two-thirds in the open-hearth furnace. The output of rails was 530,000 tons, about one-quarter being made by the New Russia Company.
SEC. XXVIb.—The South:
The predominant factors in Russian development are the South Russian coal fields in the basin of the Don and the ore beds of Krivoi Rog. The coal deposits cover an area of about 8000 square miles and contain fourteen thousand million tons of fuel. There are nearly three hundred mines opened, but three-quarters of the prodiict comes from fifteen openings. The seams are of moderate thickness, not exceeding seven feet and as a rule from three to four feet. One seam which is worked is only sixteen inches. Head gives $1.92 as the cost, of a ton of coal and $3.35 for a ton of coke, both figures being the cost at the mines. The district in 1888 produced 2,205,000 tons, 6,686,000 in 1897 and 12,000,000 in 1903, being three-quarters of all the coal that was raised in Russia. The coal varies from lignite to anthracite, the same seam being quite different in places a few miles apart. The anthracite beds are more extensive than those furnishing soft coal, but the furnaces at Salin are the only ones using hard coal for smelting. The bituminous varieties are high in sulphur, ranging from 1 to 4 per cent. The coke is of poor physical structure and most of the coal needs to be washed, several plants for this purpose having recently been put in operation. The best beds give a coke containing 8 per cent, ash and 1.1 per cent, sulphur, but other coals give up to 25 per cent, ash and 4 per cent, sulphur. In 1900 there were made 2,500,000 tons of coke, but not more than one-third the coal used for this purpose could be called true coking coal. The volatile matter at some plants is 18 to 21 per cent., while in other places the proportion is higher. In 1900 there were 4000 ovens, two-thirds of which were of the Coppee type, no by-product plants being in use.
The ore in the basin of the Don is of little importance, the nearest deposits being in Krivoi Rog in Kherson, on the border of